I have been abused mentally, physically, and have been cheated on. So, I guess you can say I’ve had it all, and it can’t really get worse than that.

As I was growing up and getting into the dating world, I knew going into it that I was going to have broken hearts. Ranging from being called derogatory names, controlling my social media use, to being hit, kicked, and dragged up the stairs by my hair. I never ever in a million years thought I would become a victim of abuse. But I guess that’s why they say you “always get what you least expect” in life.

Going through something like this has really changed my perspective on life. I cried until there were no more tears to cry, and then would cry again. Dreading the days to come, dealing with the concept and fact that these things have happened to me I had some sort of epiphany along the way: even though I completely broken down from this, I still believe in love.

Since I have stepped away from everything, things came into focus. Love is something that is patient, and love is something that is kind. Though there is pain now, it will be worth it in the long run. All of those tears and emotions of the past will be forgotten when you are with someone who truly loves you.

I know that it is not my fault that I was abused. It’s never the victims fault. That person made the conscious decision to hurt you. Even though all the bruises are healed, there will always be a scar in me. But instead of having that being a dark cloud hanging over me, I have decided to wear it on my sleeve and embrace it. Yes, it is very sad that something like this happened, but I got out of it and getting out is a lot easier said than done. You have to go beyond what your heart is saying to you, and do what is right for you, not your abuser. And it is never easy to lose someone you care about. Breaking from that takes a lot of strength and courage.

I still believe in love because I see it in others. In my family, and in my friends. I see my parents, still being happily married after twenty-something years. I see my brother and sister, coming for me in times of need. Or my friends who are there for me. That is a kind of love that we see every day, but don’t even notice because it is hidden in plain sight.

Bad things will be thrown at you all of your life. How you come back from them really defines your strength as a person. They teach you life lessons, and shape you into the good person you are meant to be.